Choosing the perfect Web Company
You need a new website for your business. Whether it is an established organisation seeking to refresh its online presence, or a new business venture wanting to create an impact in the market, you know that a professionally designed website with excellent user-functionality is essential.
A successful website is much more than a shop window or catalogue for your goods and services; it provides an invaluable channel of communication to your customers and will generate leads, build your brand and increase online traffic and sales. A poorly designed website will tarnish your online reputation, discourage new business and drive your customers to your competitors.
But how do you go about finding your perfect web partner? How do you navigate between the many web agencies all vying for your business and each offering a very different solution?
What you need to know...
1. Your own Requirements, Objectives and Goals.
Determine your budget and understand what you want your website to achieve. Will it sell your products and services directly? Will it generate leads? Do you wish to build visitor interest and inform your online audience via a blog or news section? To what extent do you need to be able to monitor your website traffic to evaluate who is using your site, what they are using it for and what this means in terms of opportunities for your business?
2. Go for Experience every time
A good web company will have an excellent client base. Check out the company’s portfolio and see if they have experience in your field with client companies similar to your own. Look at how their client websites look and function. Are they easy to navigate? Is there differentiation between their client sites to show that each one is a bespoke creation? Can you approach existing clients for a reference to see if they are happy with the service provided and more importantly, if the site is now generating increased business for them?
3. Check for Credentials and Awards
Does the web company hold recognised certificates or awards for online excellence? This will set them apart from other web companies in terms of experience and overall success.
4. Look for Partnership, People and Process
A strong partnership with the right web company will be a valuable asset in the long-term. Can you trust and communicate easily with the people? A good web company will offer a clear and structured breakdown of their process, explaining each of the steps from research and development of your target audience and objectives, right through to the design concept, development and website launch.
Check if the proposed solution will be future-proof and scalable to ensure it can accommodate growth or diversification as time goes on and your company evolves.
5. What Value-Added Services can be offered?
Can your prospective partner offer you more than design and build? A good web agency will have the experience to know what ‘call to action’ features will work best for your target audience. They should also be proactive in developing your website through a tailored online marketing strategy from the moment it is launched.
An experienced web partner will work with you to create a truly interactive portal by utilising technologies such as social networking tools including Facebook and Twitter to raise your visibility, and will combine these with a proven Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy to drive new and repeat traffic to the website.
6. Talk Turkey as Money matters!
When you have narrowed your list of potential partners ask for detailed pricing. Include as much detail as you can on your requirements so as to be able to compare apples with apples. The web company’s response should be timely and should offer a clear outline of their process, price and timetable for the work, as well as CVs of the team who will be delivering the project.
Make sure you confirm the terms surrounding website maintenance and any support fees which you could incur over the lifetime of the website. This will give a true picture of the long term cost and will allow you to spot and avoid a potential long term liability. Look for value for money combined with quality and be aware that the cheapest option may not always be the best one!
Follow Eyekiller’s expert advice to help you save time and money in your search for the perfect long-term web partner!